"The risk from fire is not the same for everyone. More than 4,000 deaths and 20,300 injuries in the United States were caused by fire in 2001.1 These casualties were not equally distributed across the U.S. population, and the resulting risk of death or injury from fire is not uniform-it is more severe for some groups than for others. Much can be learned from understanding why different segments of society are at heightened risk from the fire problem. Risk is a factor, element, or course of action involving uncertainty. It is an exposure to some peril, and it often implies a probability of occurrence, such as investment risk or insurance risk. In terms of the fire problem, risk is the potential for injury or death of a person or damage or loss to property. This topical report focuses on how fire risk-specifically the risk of death and injury -varies with age and how other demographic and socio−economic factors weigh upon that risk."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (December 2004), v.4 no.7